Board Members

Barry Smith, President

B.A, Dip. Ed, GAICD.
Elected member.

Barry has had a varied career as a teacher, teacher union official, government adviser and business owner.

Christine Stewart, Vice President

B.A., Dip. Ed.
Represents Australian Education Union (Secondary).

Christine was a secondary teacher for over 20 years, including roles as Student Welfare Coordinator. Christine also held the role of deputy secretary at the AEU for 12 years and served as a director of VicSuper for over 10 years.

Barbara Laidlaw

M.E.P.A, B.Ed (Arts/Lib secondary), A.L.A.A. Represents the Victorian Association of State Secondary Principals (VASSP).

Barbara is Principal of Mullauna College in Mitcham and has had diverse career opportunities across 11 rural and metropolitan secondary colleges with enrolments of between 280 and 1550 students.

Cheryle Osborne

PhD, MEPA, MEPI, B Ed Dip. Teach (Primary) Represents the Victorian Principals Association (VPA).

Cheryle has over 35 years’ experience in Victorian government schools and is currently Principal of Aspendale Gardens Primary School. Cheryle has been a member of the VPA for 23 years and a VPA Board Member for the past 13 years.

Esther Wood

T.P.T.C.; B. Ed, Grad Dip. Special Education. Elected member.

Esther has been a member of the VPA for over 20 years and member of Principal Class for 24 years. Recipient of Principal of the Year Award 2014, Medal of the Order of Australia 2015. Esther is currently Principal of Burwood Heights Primary School.

John Hurley

B.A. Commerce, B. Ed, Certificate Counselling & Psychotherapy.
Elected member.

John has been a Principal for 33 years in state schools, working across 14 different schools and is currently Principal of Thomas Mitchell Primary School in Endeavour Hills.

Maria Shearn

M. Student Welfare, Grad Dip. Multicultural Education, Dip. Ed.
Represents Australian Education Union (Primary).

Maria has over 30 years’ experience in Victorian Government schools and is currently the Principal at East Bentleigh Primary School. Maria has been an AEU member for 30 years and a State Schools’ Relief Board member since 2013. Maria is passionate about inclusive education.

Robyn Wilson

D. Bus. Admin.
Represents Business Managers Victoria.

Robyn has worked for 20 years as a business manager and has served on the SSR Board since early 2015.

Susan Mann

B.A., Dip. Ed., GAICD.
Elected member.

Sue has worked in education in Victoria, nationally and internationally, as a secondary teacher, teacher educator, policy analyst and senior administrator for over 40 years. Over the last 20 years, she has developed extensive experience in managing not-for-profit companies owned by the Australian Ministers for Education, as Chief Operating Officer of the Learning Federation and Chief Executive Officer of Curriculum Corporation and its successor, Education Services Australia.

Tony Ross

M. Ed. Admin, Dip. Ed.
Elected member.

Tony has held many senior positions in education, is a Board member of Bendigo Bank and Vice President of Pakenham Living Learning Centre.

Wilma Culton

B. Ed, M. Ed.
Elected member.

Wilma is currently Principal of Serpell Primary School in Templestowe. She holds special interest in International Education, International Standards and Accreditation of Schools with a strong focus on development of students with a positive contribution as global citizens.

Kaye Wheatley-Brown

BBus (Accy), AGIA ACG (CS, CGP)
Elected member.

Kaye is currently the Executive Manager, Legal, Risk & Compliance and Company Secretary at legalsuper. She commenced her career at the Insurance and Superannuation Commission (now APRA) and has since gained broad experience in the finance sector including as an Associate Director in the audit and advisory team with KPMG, and senior roles in governance, risk and compliance with Mercer and VicSuper before joining legalsuper in 2017.

Jenny Ballard

Represents Parents Victoria.

Jenny joined the State Schools’ Relief Board in June 2020.  She currently serves as a Mount Erin College Board member (2015 to present) and is in her 3rd year as President.

Jenny is also an Executive member of Parents Victoria (2017 to present) and a past serving member of kindergarten and primary school committees. She has been an active participant in her children’s educational journeys for many years and is extremely passionate about family engagement in learning - and in establishing a strong, equitable, inclusive connection between students, families and schools.